Nullifying a ruling
Twitch streamers believe that they have unearthed a way to circumvent rules largely prohibiting gambling streams.
Twitch recently took a firm anti-gambling stance amid pressure from several top streamers and outside forces. The rules went into effect on October 18, yet they have not been quite as effective as the company had hoped.
others are continuing to stream the same “banned” content they previously did
Several streamers have abandoned the slot machines they once frequented for other lottery-style forms of engagement, such as opening FIFA packs (which are part of another ongoing debate over loot boxes), while others are simply continuing to stream the same “banned” content they previously did.
Thoughts from creators
Streamers are getting away with sharing gambling streams because of how Twitch worded its gambling “ban.” The new policy mandates that all sharing of affiliate links or codes come to a halt. It also named Stake, Rollbit, Duelbits, and Roobet as banned websites in a list that could still be expanded.
Furthermore, Twitch chats are not allowed to discuss banned sites. However, betting streams are not entirely discouraged, as “streaming from websites focused on fantasy sports, sports betting, or poker is currently allowed.”
Scurrows, who has 184,000 followers on Twitch, is one of several streamers who is directly challenging Twitch’s rule. He believes that vague language used in Twitch’s new policy means that he and other content creators can still load up gambling websites, so long as certain conditions are met.
it is not possible to say with certainty whether this streamer is breaking the rules
“When a streamer is playing a casino and the casino’s name is visible in the image, it is not clear which site they are playing on,” Scurrows tweeted. “As long as no URL can be seen, it is not possible to say with certainty whether this streamer is breaking the rules.”
Orangemorange, a verified Twitch partner with 544k followers, has taken a similar approach and directly called out Twitch to stop him.
Streamers like the two mentioned have begun visiting websites not named in the ban and hiding web addresses from the viewership. That way, they believe they are not in violation of the rule and can still deliver gambling content.
Despite the efforts of Twitch’s pro-gambling community, viewership in gambling streams has dropped 97% since the decree went into effect.
Past and future of Twitch gambling
Gambling streams took off on Twitch over the past year thanks to the influence of creators like Trainwreck, who earlier this year won a world record $22.5m on a slot machine, and international megastar and Stake.com partner Drake.
Trainwreck responded to Twitch’s ban by unveiling plans for a gambling-focused platform, although it remains to be seen whether or not he will build a new site if Twitch doesn’t address the loopholes in its gambling ban.
While influential creators like Trainwreck opposed Twitch’s anti-gambling stance, others, such as Pokimane, were firmly behind it. Twitch’s most-watched female streamer (9.25m followers) threatened to boycott the site until restrictions on gambling content were imposed.
Twitch is still yet to take a firm stance against the entire gambling industry
Despite the ban, Twitch is still yet to take a firm stance against the entire gambling industry and has instead targeted unregulated gambling sites.
There are several reasons for the limitations of the ban. The first is that popular gambling streams are still relatively new, and the company is in the stage of infancy in that world of entertainment. The second is that there is the opportunity for lots of money to be made off the back of gambling streams through partnerships and revenue splits.
One possibility is that Twitch ends up diving deeper into the world of sports through co-streaming or purchasing the rights to games outright. From there, streamers and the platform could join forces with a sportsbook to create branded content, thereby unlocking an entirely new revenue stream.
Twitch recoups 50% of most creators’ monetized content, although some have special deals that allow them to keep 70%. Starting next year, streamers will enjoy a 70/30 split for the first $100,000 made before moving to a 50/50 share.